A new Survey USA poll commissioned by Marijuana Majority finds the strongest support yet for letting states legalize cannabis without federal interference. In the survey of 1,500 American adults, three out of four (76%) say that states should be able to implement their own marijuana laws regardless of federal prohibition.
In the new poll, just 14% say that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice should enforce federal prohibition and arrest people who are complying with state marijuana laws. There is strong majority support for respecting state laws across every political, race, age, education and other demographic.
The poll also found that more Americans support than oppose letting marijuana consumers be professional athletes (46%-38%), journalists (50%-35%) and gun owners (48%-37%) without punishment. A number of newspapers drug test journalists before they are allowed to begin bylining stories, and several sports leagues suspend or fine athletes who are found to consume marijuana, even if it is legal under state law. Federal law criminalizes the purchase of firearms by people who use marijuana, regardless of state policy.
Despite the general opposition to these policies, the poll also showed significant uncertainty in response to the questions — double-digit “Not Sure” responses — which may suggest that many Americans aren’t aware that this type of discrimination exists.
Tom Angell, founder and chairman of Marijuana Majority, released the following statement:
“It’s clear that Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration would face a huge backlash from across the political spectrum if they broke the president’s campaign pledge to respect state marijuana policies and started arresting consumers and providers who are following local law. The more the attorney general threatens to ramp up federal enforcement, the more public opinion seems to harden against his outdated ‘Reefer Madness’ mindset.
“The other results show that while most voters generally think that cannabis consumers should be able to enjoy the same rights to employment, enjoyment and personal protection as everyone else does, our movement still has some work to do. The fact is, even when we succeed in removing marijuana criminalization, consumers continue to face discrimination from the private sector and the government, and it seems like a lot of people just aren’t aware of that.”
Full results and crosstabs are available at http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=f1cfd965-d305-4fda-b854-0b6caa512e08
OTHER KEY FINDINGS FROM THE POLL INCLUDE:
* All questions show clear majority support for cannabis consumers’ rights among Americans under 50 years of age.* There is generally majority support for cannabis consumers’ rights among Democrats and independents.
* Republicans were evenly divided on gun rights for marijuana consumers even though they were clearly against protections for athletes and journalists.* Support for marijuana consumers’ rights was generally higher on all the questions for registered voters compared to all adults.
Note: The first question in the poll about the distinction between medical and recreational cannabis was a suggestion by Survey USA to prompt respondents that they were about to be asked about marijuana issues.
The survey was conducted June 19-20.
The previous highest level of support for preventing the federal government from interfering in state marijuana laws was 73%, in a Quinnipiac poll in April.
Marijuana Majority is dedicated to making sure the media, politicians and government officials treat marijuana as a serious issue that is important to a growing majority of Americans.